John Stott, one of the most influential Christians in the world, retired recently from public ministry. Now he has issued his last book, The Radical Disciple.
In the postscript (titled “Farewell!”) Stott offers a last bit of encouragement and exhortation, one that I resonate with myself after a lifetime of loving books:
As I lay down my pen for the last time (literally, since I confess I am not computerized) at the age of eighty-eight, I venture to send this valedictory message to my readers. I am grateful for your encouragement, for many of you have written to me.
Looking ahead, none of us of course knows what the future of printing and publishing may be. But I myself am confident that the future of books is assured and that, though they will be complemented, they will never be altogether replaced. For there is something unique about books. Our favorite books become very precious to us and we even develop with them an almost living and affectionate relationship. Is it an altogether fanciful fact that we handle, stroke and even smell them as tokens of our esteem and affection? I am not referring only to an author’s feeling for what he has written, but to all readers and their library. I have made it a rule not to quote from any book unless I have first handled it. So let me urge you to keep reading, and encourage your relatives and friends to do the same. For this is a much neglected means of grace. . . .
Once again, farewell!
One thought on “Stott’s Farewell”
I do hope that books never die. I do have that “intimate” relationship with them. I like his referring to reading/books as a “means of grace”.
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